First Place AZ Appoints Chief Financial Officer

Posted By on January 11, 2017

First Place AZ has appointed Joe Cooper as its Chief Financial and Operating Officer. First Place AZ is a 501(c)3 non-profit working hard to ensure that housing options for people with autism and other special abilities are as bountiful as they are for everyone else.

“Joe brings a wealth of executive management experience and expertise in business operations, finance, partnering and organizational development. His leadership will be instrumental to expanding the reach and impact of our nonprofit,” said Denise D. Resnik, First Place founder, president & CEO. “Joe also brings a long-standing commitment to serving this population as a former and founding board member of First Place AZ and former board member of the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center.”

Spanning a total of 30 years in financial and business leadership roles, Cooper also served as executive vice president of NYSE-listed Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation in Scottsdale where he was responsible for corporate development and operations. He has consulted with numerous healthcare and technology companies.

He will oversee the financial management and operational growth of the First Place AZ and plans for replication and licensing of its curriculum and programs. 

“I am extremely pleased to be able to add my experience to the First Place mission and to work alongside such a talented and dedicated group of staff, board members and community advisors and supporters,” Cooper said. “We look forward to having First Place serve as a model for public and private collaboration and to provide housing options and transitional living skills for our participants and residents.”

Cooper previously served as a board member of First Place, and past board chair of SARRC’s Research and Medical Affairs Committee, helping the nonprofit with early efforts to develop a robust approach to clinical trials.

Cooper earned a master in business administration from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Additionally, he serves as an advisor and mentor to Startup Mill at Arizona State University a program jointly run by the Office of Entrepreneurship + Innovation and Arizona Technology Enterprises.


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